Karthik Rampalli — A Young Man With a Big Mission in Japan (Part II)

Welcome to a 3-part series, highlighting Karthik Rampalli's life. For those who didn't already read Part I about Karthik Rampalli's arrival in Japan, or his experiences at Tokyo Institute of Technology, check out the first article in the 3-part series.

In Part III, you will learn about Karthik's perspective on living in Japan, the benefits that come from it, and Karthik's overall appreciation and gratitude to those who helped him achieve everything he has accomplished thus far, as well as the MEXT Scholarship. And finally, learn some important clues to help make the best use of various opportunities in Japan.

Now let's learn more about Karthik's experiences of co-founding the MEXT Scholars Association (MSA), working at various part-time jobs and internships, and organizing 5 TEDx events and 1 Hackathon.

Introducing Karthik Rampalli

Introducing Karthik Rampalli — a go-getter, who organizes TEDx events, Hackathons, dabbles in modeling, interns at Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support, and also interns at another Venture Capital company. Oh, and by the way, he's also a full-time undergraduate student at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech). As I listened to his story, I couldn't help but be impressed with his passion for learning new things in the realm of technology, economics, conglomerates and multi-national corporations, startups, finance, and languages. In fact, he speaks 6 languages — English, Hindi, Sanskrit*, Telugu, Japanese, and German (in-progress).

A 21-year-old MEXT Scholarship recipient, Karthik will continue to make a positive impact on society. He'll definitely be one to watch, as his career progresses in Japan and abroad.

*Side Note: Sanskrit is not a spoken language; rather, it is a language used in ancient scriptures and one of the oldest languages in the world.

アルバイトor Part-Time Jobs

During his first year in Japan, Karthik didn't take on any side jobs, as he was focused entirely on mastering Japanese and passing his university entrance exam for Tokyo Tech's Information Engineering Department. After this initial ramp-up phase, Karthik decided to venture outside of the school environment to earn job experience and learn even more.

Karthik Presenting.jpg

Initially, he worked at Tokyo Tower to support promotion and sales. Then, he worked at UNIQLO for around 2 months during one of his winter breaks to learn everything he could about sales, improve his Japanese language skills in a formal, customer service setting, and understand how UNIQLO works behind-the-scenes. Both opportunities were important stepping-stones for his future internships.

In March 2017, Karthik began a paid internship at Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support. His main challenge was to thoroughly research any potential synergies between Japan, India, and Southeast Asia — a job that he inherently enjoyed. After a year of working at Deloitte, Karthik also began a paid internship at a Venture Capital firm in Tokyo — a role that he secured through actively working on multiple projects and networking. Through both of these opportunities, Karthik has rapidly increased his knowledge about startups, venture capital, technology, and financing.

MEXT Scholars Association (MSA)

What began as a simple conversation in early 2016 amongst 4 MEXT Scholarship recipients and friends about what could be done to improve the information flow and communication amongst MEXT Scholars, became the starting point of a brand new venture. Along with 3 other founders — Royce, Austin, and Jorel, Karthik helped launch the MEXT Scholars Association (MSA) in May 2016, with the sole purpose of creating a community for current and former MEXT Scholarship recipients. In August 2016, the founders received official acceptance, acknowledgement, and support from the Monbukagakusho MEXT department of the Japanese government. Once they received the official recognition from MEXT, the founders of MSA were ready to start launching events that would help benefit MEXT Scholars, who hail from all over the world.

After the group's 1st big event, the founders merged with MEXT Scholars Exchange Platform, which had 4 people on the board, growing the core team to a group of 8. As the program and services offered expanded, and the need developed to launch local events, the founders then recruited regional heads to spearhead local events.

Now, the core team includes 10 people, who work wholeheartedly to develop more practical resources for new, current, and former MEXT Scholars such as practical articles about how to extend one's scholarship, and even a complete guide on adapting to life in Japan.

Follow and like the Facebook Page here, and learn more about the organization's vision here.

Karthik Presenting 2.jpg

Volunteering Endeavors with TEDx & Hackathons

Besides launching MSA, attending school full-time, and working at Deloitte, Karthik still sought to do more. Thus, he began organizing TEDx events at Tokyo Tech, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, and Youth. And in March 2018, Karthik also helped organize his very first hackathon with Junction Tokyo. Plus, he will be organizing his 5th TEDx event in May 2018.

A busy man? I'd say so! But all of these tasks are wonderful opportunities for him to learn more about the upcoming technology trends and ideas, as well as interact and engage with the most active tech scenes in Japan.

The End

Thank you very much for reading this article about Karthik's part-time roles, volunteering experiences of organizing TEDx and Hackathon events, and co-founding the MEXT Scholars Association (MSA).

Check out Part I about Karthik's arrival in Japan, why he moved to Japan, his one-year intensive Japanese language studies, and his favorite things about studying at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech). And in Part III, you will learn more about Karthik's advice for those who want to make the best use of various opportunities in Japan, as well as the benefits and challenges that inevitably come with living abroad as a foreign student in Japan.

This article was originally published on Schoolynk Media in April 2018.